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Louie Bellson: Beat Poet

Louie Bellson
Louie Bellson (Detlev Schilke)
Louie Bellson

At age 75, rest assured that drummer Louie Bellson has not lost his touch. His gifts today remain as strong as ever, and he can still power a big band or groove with a small combo with his characteristic technique, style, and seeming ease. He is, in fact, a consummate musician, one whom Duke Ellington described as “not only the world’s greatest drummer, but also the world’s greatest musician.”

“Duke was being over-generous when he made that statement,” said Bellson from his home in California. “I’m embarrassed by it. Just to have Duke play something that I wrote is enough praise for me.”

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